Gatwick Airport staff to strike in pay dispute

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image captionWorkers involved are those who help disabled passengers and others needing special assistance

Workers who assist disabled passengers and others in need of help at Gatwick Airport are to stage a series of strikes in a row over pay.

Members of the Unite union will hold three 48-hour walkouts starting on 20 November, 26 November and 21 December.

Staff say they earn less than other staff employed by the same logistics company, Wilson James.

A spokesman for Gatwick Airport said: "We encourage both sides to continue discussions."

The union said the workers' dispute centres on a claim for a pay increase of £1 per hour.

The employees involved are those who assist disabled passengers and others needing special assistance getting through the airport and on and off aircraft.

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: "The last thing our members want is to cause inconvenience and distress to those passengers who rely on their services during their time at Gatwick airport, but they feel they have been forced into a corner."

A Gatwick spokesman said: "We encourage both sides to continue discussions and to work for an outcome to resolve the dispute."

He added: "The welfare of our passengers remains our top priority, however, and we remain confident that services at the airport will not be disrupted as Wilson James has a range of mitigation measures ready to put into place."

In a statement, Wilson James said: "We are disappointed in this ballot decision, but we remain committed to continuing the dialogue in good faith with our colleagues at Unite.

"In the meantime we are preparing contingency plans to minimise passenger disruption."

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